Artist sells other people’s Instagram photos for $90,000

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No doubt, you have those friends on social media who truly view those pictures of their dinner or their super-filtered selfies as art, but a legitimate artist is actually turning to Instagram for a big payoff.

His name’s Richard Prince. He takes screenshots of Instagram photos, adds his own comments, then prints that image on a canvas. Why? Well, when he exhibited them last fall, they brought in $90,000 - each. Yes, someone paid $90,000 for what is essentially someone else’s Instagram photo.

A lot of people are up in arms about this, saying that Prince essentially stole their social media content and profited from it. I feel like the same people who are upset also posted that message on Facebook -- trying to prevent any individual, group, corporation or government entity from using content on their profile without their permission.

In the case of Facebook, nothing you post will undo the Terms of Agreement you signed off on when you signed up. As far as Prince is concerned, he bent the rules just enough; by adding his own comments, he technically created an original piece of art.

But let it be a lesson: no matter how tight your circle of social media friends and followers is, once you post something on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or really anywhere online, it’s part of the public domain. That means it can be used against you or - in Prince’s case - for someone else.